Saturday: Conference Speakers Feel Great Responsibility, Says President Monson

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 4 October 2014

President Thomas S. Monson said Saturday that the conference marks the 90-year anniversary of radio broadcasts and the 65-year anniversary of television broadcasts of general conference.

Millions of Church members gathered on October 4 for the first sessions of the 184th Semiannual General Conference, which originated in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City and was broadcast across the globe.

“How pleased I am to welcome you to this great world conference,” said President Thomas S. Monson during the opening moments of the Saturday morning session. “We are gathered together in locations around the world to listen to and learn from the brethren and sisters whom we have sustained as General Authorities and general officers of the Church. They have sought heaven’s help concerning the messages which they will present, and they have felt inspiration regarding what will be said.”

Capacity crowds filled the Conference Center for the three Saturday sessions, which were translated into more than 93 languages and broadcast to more than 170 countries and territories. In addition, proceedings were available on the Internet, cable television systems, and radio and television stations.

President Monson said the conference marks the 90-year anniversary of radio broadcasts and the 65-year anniversary of television broadcasts of general conference.

“We acknowledge the blessings of modern media in allowing millions of members of the Church to watch or listen to general conference,” he said. “The sessions of this weekend are being broadcast via television, radio, cable, satellite transmission, and the Internet, including on mobile devices.”

President Monson said the Church continues to grow and now includes a missionary force of more than 88,000. In addition, when all the temples that are announced or under construction are dedicated, the Church will have 170 operating temples, he said.

Speaking of the conference, he said that “all who have been asked to speak feel a great responsibility in doing so. As we listen, may our hearts be touched and our faith increased.”

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said during his address delivered in the priesthood session that the Lord’s plan for His work is filled with preparation.

“[The Lord] prepared the earth for us to experience the tests and the opportunities of mortality,” said President Eyring. “While we are here we are in what the scriptures call a ‘preparatory state.’”

In helping prepare others, even more powerful than using words in teaching doctrine will be examples of living the doctrine, President Eyring counseled. “Our success in preparing others in the priesthood will come in proportion to how much we love them,” he said,

On Saturday morning, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “God Himself—the Lord of Hosts who knows all truth—has given His children the promise that they can know truth for themselves.”

The Church, he added, is for all people who seek Christ and His perfecting power. It is a place of welcoming and nurturing, not of separating or criticizing.

“In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true.”

The conference marked the first time some speakers whose primary language is not English delivered their talks in their native tongues. Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, who spoke in the Saturday morning session, delivered his address in Cantonese—the first talk in a language other than English in the 184 years of the twice-annual conferences.

In addition, the First Presidency announced leadership changes during the Saturday afternoon session, including the release of two members of the Quorum of the Seventy and two Area Seventies.

Elder Carlos H. Amado was made an emeritus General Authority after more than 25 years of service. Elder William R. Walker was made an emeritus General Authority after serving as a Seventy since 2002. Elder Arayik V. Minasyan and Elder Gvido Senkans were released as Area Seventies.

Links to summaries of the talks given during the general women's meeting and Saturday conference sessions are below. Find additional helpful links by clicking on the buttons to the right.

Men and young men line up for priesthood meeting at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City Saturday, October 4, 2014. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred.

President Thomas S. Monson leaves the Conference Center after the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

President Thomas S. Monson leaves the Conference Center after the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

President Henry B. Eyring leads the sustaining of Church leaders at the Conference Center during the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducts the afternoon session at the Conference Center during the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

The afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles waits for the start of the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

A combined choir from stakes in Tooele, Granstville, and Stansbury Park sings at the Conference Center during the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Photo by Kristin Murphy.

Shanalyn and Brandon Wilde with their son Lincoln take a quick photo outside the Conference Center after the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference Saturday, October 4, 2014. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.

Church members exit the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.

Church members gather on and around the plaza to listen to the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.

Church members take photos near a fountain near the Conference Center in Salt Lake City during the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference Saturday, October 4, 2014. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.

Church members gather on and around the plaza to listen to the afternoon session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.

Members of the Twelve and their wives exit the stand following the morning session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.

Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong speaks in his native language of Cantonese Saturday, October 4, 2014, during the morning session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, © Deseret News 2014.